In preparation for this year's heavy storm season, United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries is turning to church congregations to help overcome a shortage of much-needed cleanup buckets, stocked with essential supplies that are used after a disaster strikes. UCC Disaster Ministries is offering congregations matching grants of up to $250 as an incentive to assemble Church World Service kits — in particular, CWS Emergency Cleanup Buckets but also CWS School and Hygiene Kits.
Click the headline for a summary, updated in April 2017, of the April 2016 Ecuador earthquakes disaster and what United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries is doing to help relief and recovery. The page includes an Ecuador earthquake bulletin insert, materials for children, a youth activity and a bookmark.
In 2016, United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries extended expert recovery assistance in 21 countries, including the United States, to people whose lives were turned upside down by wind and water, wildfires and lead, earthquakes and radiation, drought and hunger.
"I hope people know how devastating this was and still is. It's over a year since the storm and people are still struggling and suffering from it. We still need help." Those are the words of Cynthia Charles, 57, of Columbia, S.C., who was among thousands in communities across South Carolina and in other states whose homes suffered damage from high winds and record-setting torrential rains in October 2015.
UCC Disaster Ministries has just transmitted $16,178 to Global Ministries partners in Japan who are reaching out to an underserved group of survivors of the triple earthquake-tsunami-nuclear disaster in March 2011: immigrant women. Some 1,100 Chinese, Korean, Filipino and Thai immigrant women in Fukushima and Shirakawa, Japan, continue to struggle for information and support following the disaster.
United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries has approved a $25,000 grant to support the work of the Genesee County Hispanic Latino Collaborative (GCHLC) in Flint, Mich., to serve Spanish-speaking households affected by the water crisis. Woodside Church UCC in Flint is providing the collaborative with space long term as it responds to the needs of an under-served and overlooked population.
When faced with a need, offer the resources you have - and do it with style! That's what the Franklinton Center at Bricks, a UCC covenant partner in rural Whitakers, N.C., did last month when it met an urgent request to house Mennonite Disaster Service volunteer work teams about to start coming to help the area clean up from Hurricane Matthew.
As Hurricane Matthew scraped its destruction across western Haiti in October, it destroyed the fall 2016 harvest. In response, UCC Disaster Ministries is helping fund seed distribution so that farmers will not lose the next planting season. The ministry also is supporting early recovery work in Cuba and the United States.
From Florida to the Carolinas, Hurricane Matthew survivors in the United States are asking, "What do we do now?"
United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries Is playing its part in helping them move toward recovery, most recently with deployment of two long-term recovery volunteers to Florida and training in long-term recovery basics in the Carolinas.
Update of a 10/14/2016 story: An Oct. 22 benefit concert of Brazilian music featuring musicians originally from the Philippines and France raised more than $2,700 for UCC Disaster Ministries to support recovery from Hurricane Matthew in the Caribbean in October and from flooding in Louisiana in August. Thank you, and congratulations!